I’ve been experimenting with a raw diet this week, which has yielded good and bad results: some bloating, some boredom with the local produce selection in a chilly April, some frustration and cravings; but also some unexpected energy, and a general feeling of wellness in choosing foods with all their nutritional content intact.
But after a few days, my body wasn’t only craving something cooked, per se, but something warm–the kind of meal that fills your soul as much as your stomach. For me, that food is usually some kind of curry. Despite my history of failed attempts at South Asian cuisine, I’ve had a pretty good run with curries in the past. The ingredients tend to be bright in flavor and color, easy to get year-round, and, minus the fact of their being cooked, packed with the kind of vitamins and minerals I was getting with my mostly raw, most alkaline diet: coconut, dry spices, and no gluten. The execution also couldn’t be simpler: add to pot and stir.
What I like about this recipe, too (adopted from Active Vegetarian), is that it uses a home-made curry paste that’s easy to have on hand and a lot cheaper than buying it in the store–where it’s most likely processed in some way or another. Adding the sprouted chickpeas helped me feel a little raw as well–and I admit to snacking on some during the prep, they’re just so superior to canned or even dried-and-cooked chickpeas.
Although this curry takes a little longer to prepare than other recipes I’ve tried, it’s worth it to be able to enjoy such a healthful combination of vegetables and protein in the creamy but light base. And because it makes a large amount, you’ll have plenty leftovers to enjoy for a few days afterward (curry does keep well in the freezer, too, if you get sick of it–though I doubt you will).
Creamy Vegan Vegetable Curry
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 3 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. tumeric
- 1-inch piece fresh grated ginger
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1 can light coconut milk
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 medium onion
- 1 medium (about 2 cups, cubed) sweet potato
- 1 cup (sprouted) chickpeas
- 1 bunch fresh broccoli
- 1 lb. carrots, sliced
- 1 package tofu, drained
- 1 handful fresh basil
- salt & pepper, to taste
1. Prepare tofu by wrapping in paper towel, setting in a strainer or bowl, and weighing down slightly. Press for at least 30 minutes to ensure all the water is out.
2. Combine cashews and coconut milk in a bowl and let soak, at least 30 minutes.
3. Combine ingredients for curry paste (dry spices, ginger, garlic, and water) in a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth. You may need more or less water depending on the consistency of the paste you’d like.
4. Add coconut oil to a large dutch oven or sauce pot over medium heat. When liquified, add diced onions, tofu (cut into cubes), chickpeas, and potato cubes. Stir well and cook 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the tofu begins to brown.
5. Add the vegetables, a big pinch of salt, and basil; cover and steam: 10-15 minutes. Add the curry paste and stir well to coat. Cook uncovered for another 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
6. Add the cashew-milk combination and nutritional yeast to the same processor bowl (don’t clean it in between, as the milk will help pick up any residual spices). Blend until smooth. Add to pot, and stir to combine well.
7. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cover to cook for another 15-20 minutes until heated through. The broth will thicken slightly.
8. Add salt and pepper to taste, and divide into bowls to serve.
Also by Jennifer: Roasted Veggie Baked Polenta
Related: Green Curry Noodle Bowl
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Photos: Jennifer Kurdyla